Peripheral Vision

Hi there! I was dx in 2008 and I’ve had a few relapses but have generally managed to get through relatively unscathed. I have the usual mobility issues and the ever present fatigue, Anyway, I got my eyes tested yesterday and failed the peripheral vision test very badly, I’d asked the optometrist (how’s my spelling?) to have a look at my right eye as it has started to get a wee bit blurry now and then and always when my fatigue’s at it’s worst, it also feels swollen although the optometrist said that it doesn’t appear to be, He took a photograph of my optic nerve and didn’t see anything wrong, I don’t know anything about the optical problems in MS and I’m a wee bit scared to look online as I am burying my head in the sand and not wanting to know if my driving licence will be withdrawn, and also worried that some Dr will start meddling with my eyes, I don’t just have MS, I’m a total wimp too :slight_smile: if anyone has any knowledge of the peripheral test and what some of the reasons I failed so badly might be?

ms, scared of Dr’s and an ever increasingly hypochondriac man would appreciate any info


Hi wimp,

Don’t worry about the test; I presume its Visual Evoked Potentials. You just watch a TV screen with EEG electrodes stuck on your head.

It then records the speed of the known visual impulses along your Optic Nerve, no pain whatsoever.

Good luck; don’t worry


Was this the test where you have each eye in turn look into something like the inside of a beachball, and press a buttom every time you see a light appear (or have to say how many tiny lights you saw)?

If so, do not fret too much over it. This is one of those tests that says something is not quite optimal, but does not say why.
If you had the eyeball pressure test (an annoying puff of air), and a photo taken of where the optic nerve enters the eyeball, then the obvious one (general glaucoma) has probably been ruled out already.
There are several things that might account for a “failure”, most of which can be dealt with fairly easily - and I am not going to give you a list and have you hitting Dr Google tomorrow.

You see, you can “fail” the test, but you need to know where the “failure” was to make any sort of a diagnosis.
So, if you miss the target lights at (say) 12 o’clock, this will not immediately take your licence away. Big failures at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions would have an impact on driver safety, and trigger a notification to the DVLA.
What it should do is to trigger an investigation by a hospital opthalmologist into why the failure, and what the problem is.

The optometrist has probably written to your GP asking for a referral to be made, and this could take a few weeks to come through, and be for quite a few weeks away.
If you were bad enough to stop driving, rest assured that you would have been told there and then (as “advice”) while the DVLA were being informed.


If they didn’t tell that driving is affected I guess it wasn’t that bad.

I failed it one year but was told it wouldn’t be a problem driving. I was called in for an eye test after one year instead of two, though, for closer monitoring.

I don’t think anyone will meddle with your eyes - I don’t think there’s any thing be done.


Thanks folks,

I usually never go near google with any ailments but I broke my own rule and had a look, it was a bit of a scary topic as the 1st option google gave was DVLA related, I am back to the optometrist this morning and I’m a bit less paranoid and worried now, thanks to all that replied :slight_smile:

yes, that was the test, I’m not as worried as I initialy was, thank you :slight_smile:

Just got back from my re-test, they put me on another machine this time and I got 100% for both eyes, optometrist said that I could have had such an epic fail last week as I’d had eyedrops put in and they can effect vision for a few hours afterwards, I will never google anything again as I was worried rotten.

Like someone (was it Anitra?) said a few weeks ago, Dr Google should have been struck off years back.

But seriously, you know a lot more about the process now, and you will not be worried the next time.